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New mileage rules will likely prove costlyPosted Friday, April 2, 2010, at 10:16 AM
Looks like the Obama administration (a/k/a Government Motors) is bent and determined to force us truck-loving Americans into small cars -- no matter what the cost.
New federal rules mandate a 35.5 mpg average by 2016.
The government proudly proclaims that although the plans will increase the cost of new cars by over $900 each, we'll save over $3,000 over the lives of those vehicles due to better gas mileage.
What about the Big Oil factor? If consumption falls -- meaning less gasoline sold at the pump -- gas prices rise to keep Big Oil's profit levels up. And about that $3,000 saved: Few people keep a vehicle through its entire lifespan.
GM and Ford will be pushing small, turbocharged engines by the end of this year. Hopefully those powerplants will get the job done. Those of us who can remember some of the poorly-engineered, weak engines from the 1970s and 1980s can only hope that we aren't going back to cars too slow to get out of their own way. And I'm not talking about spinning out from intersections like a race driver, but simply engines with enough power to get away quickly from, for example, a drunk driver sliding in your direction -- or that aren't straining under normal acceleration with the A/C on in summer's heat.
Conserving natural resources is a good move. Vehicles certainly use their share of resources. But onerous rules forced on the public are another example of a government that's beginning to stretch its regulatory power too far.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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